Too many for any good they do!
Dane County elected all 37 of these jokers just this past April! We’re stuck with them until 2024! Supervisors voted down three fixes to the county jail crisis last night. Couldn’t even agree to put it to a referendum of the voters! Voted that down 32-2! Why? Because of identity politics. Sup. Dana Pellebon, who misrepresents Fitchburg:
“We are not protecting people by incarcerating,” she said. “We are protecting a system, a system that harms people.” Perhaps, Sup. Pellebon, it is your system that harms people! The Wisconsin State Journal reports:
The Dane County Board of Supervisors weighed three options for the new jail during its meeting Thursday night: the smaller, five-story jail; borrowing an extra $10 million for a six-story, roughly $166 million jail it approved in March that went millions over budget by the summer; and putting a ballot referendum to voters in November asking if they supported the $10 million. Each of those possibilities failed, making it unclear what the future of the project could even look like. Due to rising construction costs, the new jail continues to grow tens of millions of dollars over its original budget.
Dane County has been twisting its curls over this issue for the last 20 years! No issue on the county level is more pressing than the safety of its citizens, not discounting the humane treatment of jail inmates. (No, Sheriff Barrett, they are not “residents.”)
When brother Mike Blaska chaired the County Board from 1992 to 1996, it authorized building the current Public Safety Building with two additional empty floors that could be built up as the inmate population increased with the county’s growing population. Good liberal Rick Phelps, then county executive, vetoed those additional floors and the structure was not built to accomodate any additions. In those four years, the conservative county board also built the Expo Center, Monona Terrace, and the agriculture/conservation center — as well as additions to Vilas Zoo and the airport. With an evenly divided board a few years later, we built the courthouse.
Former mayor Dave is appropriately apoplectic: “I used to think that the most dysfunctional local public body in Madison was its school board. But now the Dane County Board is challenging them for the title. Last night the board, yet again, couldn’t show any leadership.”
What everybody can agree on is the idea that the old jail on the top floors of the City County Building, designed and built in the 1950’s, is dangerous and inhumane and that the Huber Center out on the Alliant Center parking lot has far outlived its usefulness.
Too many of the 37 supervisors have bought into the big progressive lie that law enforcement is targeting minority races while allowing white murderers, armed robbers, and rapists to walk free. Or that cops are arresting black people for spitting on the sidewalk. We ask: how many more GPS ankle bracelets can we issue? This suspect didn’t recharge his and is arrested for attempted homicide.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Can’t leave Joe Parisi off the hook. A strong county executive could knock heads together on the board. Maybe it is “the system” after all — but not like Pellebon thinks.
The Blaska Werkes is now prepared to reverse years of official policy: 37 supervisors are too damned many! The average voter has no idea who their supervisor is; the news media and other watchdogs can barely keep track of them, so how can they be held accountable? County boards in California average 5 supervisors. We think 19, elected to staggered two-year terms (no more than 10 in any election), is about right for Dane County.
How did YOUR supervisor vote?
(That’s the point!)